Fishing & Boating News

ESPN Unveils 2004 Bassmaster Classic Marketing Campaign


(Jul. 12, 2004 - MONTGOMERY, AL.) ESPN will unveil a new multimedia advertising campaign this week, promoting the CITGO Bassmaster Classic presented by Busch Beer featuring professional anglers and the bass. The spots, created by the Boston, Massachusetts-based ad agency Fort Franklin, focus on what makes the sport of competitive bass fishing exciting and unpredictable - the bass.

The spots aim to raise awareness of the Bassmaster Classic (July 30- Aug. 1 on ESPN and ESPN2), providing a better understanding of what the sport is all about while positioning the event as an entertaining and worthwhile viewing experience.

"With this campaign we want to showcase the personality of the sport and highlight elements that make bass fishing unique - all in a humor and style that is synonymous with ESPN," said Lee Ann Daly, ESPN executive vice president, marketing. "It provides all of the excitement and competition associated with other sports, but stands alone in that it incorporates the unpredictability of fish."

A total of three 30-second and three 15-second spots will showcase recent Classic champions Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Jay Yelas:

  • "Hard to Find" - Yelas explains the challenges of locating bass as fish mockingly jump out of the water behind his back.
  • "New Strategy" - Fans learn the subtleties of lure choice from Yelas as he devises a new game plan, switching from a red floating worm to the far more enticing red floating worm with green sprinkles.
  • "Throttle" - VanDam explains how winning the Classic has brought him newfound respect while a bass dives out of the water and hits his throttle, causing his boat to drive away without him.
  • "Man versus Fish" - VanDam peers off into the horizon sizing up his opponent and saying to himself, "It's just me against you, bass. Mano y Basso."
  • "Cheeseburger" - While talking about how bass seem to get smarter every day, Iaconelli discovers a mysterious cheeseburger on his boat, which turns out to be a large human lure planted by none other than the wily bass.
  • "Mind Games" - Fans hear Iaconelli imagining that the bass are trying to psych him out and make him cast in a different location. "Nice try, bass."

The spots will run on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic and ESPNEWS from July 19 through August 1. In addition, the campaign will appear in ESPN the Magazine and be heard on ESPN Radio.

Bassmaster Classic

The CITGO Bassmaster Classic presented by Busch Beer pits the 53 top anglers in the world against one another in an all-out, three-day tournament to determine who among them is the best. Lake Wylie, which straddles the North Carolina/South Carolina border, will host this year's Classic, its first BASS event since the 1982 Bassmaster Open tournament. This is the fifth time the state of North Carolina has hosted the world championship of bass fishing. Its previous Classics took place on High Rock Lake (1998, 1995, 1994) and Currituck Sound (1975).

BASS is the world's largest fishing organization, sanctioning more than 20,000 tournaments worldwide through its Federation. The CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail presented by Busch Beer, which includes the all-new Bassmaster Elite 50 series, is the oldest and most prestigious pro bass fishing tournament circuit and continues to set the standard for credibility, professionalism and sportsmanship as it has since 1968.

Sponsors of the CITGO Bassmaster Classic presented by Busch Beer include CITGO Petroleum Corp., Busch Beer, Purolator, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Lowrance Electronics, Flowmaster Exhaust Systems, MotorGuide, Bass Pro Shops, and BankOne.

Local Sponsors include the Charlotte Regional Sports Commission, Visit Charlotte, the Auditorium-Coliseum-Convention Center Authority, the Rock Hill Sports and Tourism Council and Time Warner Cable.